Lerner 1991

ISBN 0822515962

96 pp. hardcover

Grades 6-10

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is different things to different people. For tourists it is a place to relax on sunny beaches. Scuba divers see it as an underwater paradise, waiting to be explored. For scientists, the GBR is nothing less than a living laboratory. This book was the result of many months of adventures I had at sea, diving side-by-side with scientists on pristine, breathtaking coral reefs.

Reviews & Awards

School Library Journal

“An alluring look at real science in action….Rather than the usual litany of the creatures of this unique habitat, this book looks at the Great Barrier Reef through the eyes of research scientists. After a brief introduction to coral polyps and the reef’s formation, Johnson describes the mysterious simultaneous spawning of the corals…investigations being conducted regarding the close relationships among giant clams…studies being conducted on dugong populations, nutrient flows in mangrove swamps, egg-laying habits of marine turtles, the UV protection mechanisms of coral polyps, and the incursions of large populations of Crown-of-Thorns sea stars….A final note exhorts readers to think ahead toward scientific careers in all fields of endeavor. A host of bright, enticing full-color photos complete the package.”

Reading Time, the Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia

“Rebecca Johnson’s fascinating book is dedicated to ‘my friends in Oz.’ It describes work in progress at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Research projects concerning the biology and ecology of giant clams, dugong, mangroves, turtles, reef fish, and ‘crown of thorns’ starfish are described as though they were scientific reports of progress, and thus they give the reader a good feeling for aim, methods, results and conclusions–the processes of science–as well as scientific knowledge. A chapter about the natural ultraviolet protectors in corals adds a further dimension–technology arising from ‘pure’ science. Books of this calibre will make even more secondary school students determined to be marine scientists!”

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Copyright © 2023 Rebecca L. Johnson